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Dollhouse (Re)watch & Discuss: 1.01 Ghost

Athena

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This week, we'll be watching the first episode of the first season of Dollhouse - Ghost - written and directed by Joss Whedon. This (re)watch is open to new Dollhouse viewers (such as myself) and existing fans. Everyone is welcome to join in!

This episode 1 (re)watch takes place between 26th June 2016 - 2nd July 2016. You can watch this episode at your leisure during that time and discuss the episode below.

Although Dollhouse has aired for some time, this and all future episode threads are a dedicated no spoiler zone! Please ensure any spoilers are spoiler tagged. :)

Ghost - S1E1
Synopsis
A wealthy backer asks the Dollhouse for help when his daughter is kidnapped. They send Echo to negotiate the release. One of the memory imprints used to prepare Echo for the mission causes some complications.
 

Taake

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Gonna watch this in a while. It's going to be interesting to watch one episode weekly, I've never done that with Dollhouse actually!
 
Blaze
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Neither have I! I'll be curious to see if it hurts the show or not

Washburne

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Maybe I'll join in at some point but I'll definitely follow the discussions. Will be interesting to see peoples thoughts, good or bad.

It's going to be interesting to watch one episode weekly, I've never done that with Dollhouse actually!
A few of us did. When it first aired. Want to take a a few months break between the seasons as well? ;)

To me most shows get better when you can watch the episodes close together. Lets see how you feel about Dollhouse.

edit: Maybe I should try and find the first threads and see what we thought. A new Joss show. I think none of us wanted to say bad things about it.
 

Monkey Pants

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I watched Dollhouse pretty quickly and I do think it helped the show. Having to watch the first five episodes over more than a month I might have given up to. Glad that didn't happen!
 

Athena

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Well, I figure people will have watched it every week when it was first aired, so it can be done. I'm just about to settle down and watch the episode, so see you all on the other side :D
 
I'm not going to do a massive sprawling review, but I enjoyed the episode. I wasn't expecting brilliance, so I was pleasantly surprised. I didn't really understand the importance of the first scene with Echo and the motorcycle guy in the club - who was he? Is he relevant? What was her mission? Just to have a weekend with a guy? o_O There was quite a lot of exposition, which I understand is necessary sometimes but it seemed to be stuffed with it. They introduced so many characters it felt overwhelming, I have no idea of anyone's character name, apart from Echo/Miss Pell herself, right now!

I couldn't help but think FAITH, every time I saw Eliza Dushku on screen. I wasn't overly enamoured by her acting ability, but hopefully that'll improve as the seasons progress. I just couldn't take her seriously as Miss Pell at first, although the culmination of the personalities she'd been given and coming face to face with her childhood abuser was very raw and I thought Eliza dealt with this well. I like that the personalities aren't sticking and she's getting memory leaks. It all sounds interesting. I also fully expected the security guard at the father's house to be an accomplice, so I'm glad I was misdirected actually.

I've come out with more questions, that I'm hoping get answered. Such as how can they insert a medical condition with a personality? They gave Echo asthma because one of the personalities had asthma? How is that even possible (although, maybe that's the wrong question on the realms of TV show possibility!) Also, I'm confused about the very first scene, where Olivia Williams enlists 'Caroline'. What exactly did Caroline do? I guess we'll find that out.

Also, did the father die? I was sure she said he had?

All in all, I really enjoyed it and I look forward to next week! :)

I'm going to give it a rating of C+. Enjoyable, makes me want to see more, but the pacing is slow, it's a little difficult to follow and I have far too many questions..... :D
 

Monkey Pants

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I'm trying to remember this episode as I just saw the show and don't want to rewatch it immediately!

This wasn't the most impressive pilot I've ever seen, but it was better than I expected as I've read some very scathing reviews. I still think the show would have been a little better and maybe had more viewers if Fox hadn't insisted on so many stand alone episodes in the beginning.
A lot of the dialogue, especially between Topher and Boyd, doesn't feel like something they would really say and is clearly just explaining the show to the audience. I feel like it was a little clunky.
I thought the main plot with the kidnapping was pretty interesting.
I thought Eliza was pretty good as the negotiator.
For some reason I never have trouble as seeing Echo and Faith as too entirely different characters. They never seem similar to me at all.
I think the Dolls are really adorable and I lol'd at "Something fell on me." "I bet it was something great."
 

GwenRaiden

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I thought it was okay (ended up watching it tonight). It was kind of all over the shop - I felt as if they were trying to set the tone and explain how the Dollhouse worked, but, they didn't do either very well. Maybe it was just edited badly.

The only person I enjoyed was Boyd. I can tell the handler-active relationship is going to have a few similarities to watcher-slayer (well, hopefully), and I think that's why I was instantly drawn to Boyd's character. Recognition? Comfort in nostalgia?

The dialogue didn't feel like Whedon dialogue. I didn't laugh at.. anything. It all felt quite flat. I cringed at some of the Miss Penn scenes and her lines. Amy Acker's character seemed.. interesting?

I am curious to continue, because I do think the main idea is clever and definitely different to what I'd usually watch. I hope it improves, basically.

Some side notes:
The only characters names I remember - Echo/Caroline, Boyd, Paul and Saunders.

The atmospheric music in the dollhouse has a Twin Peaks vibe to it.

I like the intro.



Mr. Pole: You've never seen it before either?
@Mr. Pole Nope. I'd never bothered with Dollhouse before because I didn't rate ED as an actress, aswell as thinking the plot would not interest me at all. It actually seems to include a variety of taboo subjects for the main idea, and hopefully it won't focus solely on only Dushku, even if it was created for her. She's a great supporting actress.
 
Last edited:
Spanky
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You've never seen it before either?
vellavu
vellavu
You didn't remember thetopher?

Blaze

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I'm not going to do a massive sprawling review, but I enjoyed the episode. I wasn't expecting brilliance, so I was pleasantly surprised. I didn't really understand the importance of the first scene with Echo and the motorcycle guy in the club - who was he? Is he relevant? What was her mission? Just to have a weekend with a guy? o_O There was quite a lot of exposition, which I understand is necessary sometimes but it seemed to be stuffed with it. They introduced so many characters it felt overwhelming, I have no idea of anyone's character name, apart from Echo/Miss Pell herself, right now!
In my opinion the opening was pretty weak and only served to be a cool action sequence. I think the opening suffered a bit from the imposition of the network. But the next few episodes should clear up some of those issues!

I've come out with more questions, that I'm hoping get answered. Such as how can they insert a medical condition with a personality? They gave Echo asthma because one of the personalities had asthma? How is that even possible (although, maybe that's the wrong question on the realms of TV show possibility!) Also, I'm confused about the very first scene, where Olivia Williams enlists 'Caroline'. What exactly did Caroline do? I guess we'll find that out.
Some of those questions will be answered eventually (this show does ask a LOT of questions, each time I watch I have more and more). But as for the asthma thing, that is a GREAT question lol. Could it just be that the brain thinks they are asthmatic because they were in their previous body? I don't know if a placebo type effect could induce this. That, or the implant works on the whole body.

Good review by the way, I think it's mostly accurate for the first episode.

A lot of the dialogue, especially between Topher and Boyd, doesn't feel like something they would really say and is clearly just explaining the show to the audience. I feel like it was a little clunky.
I agree with this. The pilot felt like they filmed it, and then had to go back and refilm some scenes to explain some stuff into more details. It's a bit clunky at times.

I thought it was okay (ended up watching it tonight). It was kind of all over the shop - I felt as if they were trying to set the tone and explain how the Dollhouse worked, but, they didn't do either very well. Maybe it was just edited badly.
Very much agree with this. If we get around to watching the original pilot at the end (since it contains some spoiler), I think we get a much nicer and more fluid version of the pilot. This pilot definitely had some editing issues it seems.

The only person I enjoyed was Boyd. I can tell the handler-active relationship is going to have a few similarities to watcher-slayer (well, hopefully), and I think that's why I was instantly drawn to Boyd's character. Recognition? Comfort in nostalgia?
I also really get a watcher/slayer dynamic! Which I love!
 

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It's been a while since I've seen it, but the first episode is a bit rough to get through. I liked the whole kidnapped daughter plot in the beginning and then I just didn't care. It feels like it drags on a bit. There's enough good stuff in there to get you to come back in hopes that your questions will get answered. For those that are new to the show, don't worry most questions will get answered, some soon and some not until season 2, and some maybe not at all, I can't remember.
I didn't really understand the importance of the first scene with Echo and the motorcycle guy in the club
I think that it's suppose to demonstrate the "active doll" life. Although, yea it's basically just a date and not interesting. It's an excuse for Eliza to ride a bike in leather pants, and then lose those pants and dance around in a shirt. lol

A lot of the dialogue, especially between Topher and Boyd, doesn't feel like something they would really say
Yea it's not organic. Topher shouldn't need to explain or even just state things to Boyd, Boyd already knows! The exposition works with Adele talking to the client, but even that's a bit heavy handed. It gets a bit repetitive.

That, or the implant works on the whole body
Well it does affect the whole body as we come to see later on. Mostly for fighting, though. That's not really a spoiler, it's almost expected with an ED role. lol.
 

Athena

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I think that it's suppose to demonstrate the "active doll" life. Although, yea it's basically just a date and not interesting. It's an excuse for Eliza to ride a bike in leather pants, and then lose those pants and dance around in a shirt. lol
I didn't know if actives could be hired in a 'companion/escort' type role? That was all I could think of, as he seemed to know her, as if he'd 'ordered' her before? That seemed a little too seedy for the show though, so I didn't know if that was the intention or not?

I mean, why would you give a necklace to someone you'd only known two days?
 

Buffy Summers

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I really like this episode - I think it's a good pilot and introduces the concept well.

I didn't really understand the importance of the first scene with Echo and the motorcycle guy in the club - who was he?
To show that Echo doesn't remember anything from the engagement afterwards (she doesn't remember how she hurt her leg). Also to show that they can program in abilities like riding a motorcycle.
 

Fuffy Baith

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I didn't know if actives could be hired in a 'companion/escort' type role? That was all I could think of, as he seemed to know her, as if he'd 'ordered' her before?
without spoiling anything. Yes and yes. Dollhouse is a bit dark and amoral at times. It's what makes it interesting to me.
 

Taake

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I still really hate this pilot.
It feels confused and the plot is like... generic and lame. The exposition is too clunky. I really dislike the imprint Echo has and the whole "she has a memory of the guy" thing, it's like watching Law and Order, Supernatural edition, or something. With a terrible hostage negotiator.

Also,
I've come out with more questions, that I'm hoping get answered. Such as how can they insert a medical condition with a personality? They gave Echo asthma because one of the personalities had asthma? How is that even possible (although, maybe that's the wrong question on the realms of TV show possibility!)
... to me this part of the plot made no sense at all. How they would do this? Skills, fine. Memories, sure. Medical conditions, you lost me.

If I had to grade it, it's an E at best.
What saves it from an F is the side characters, they outshine the script. While I obviously really like the rest of the show and I'm glad it continued, I'm surprised this pilot got a green light.
 
Fuffy Baith
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lol. Law and Order: Supernatural Crimes

Monkey Pants

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... to me this part of the plot made no sense at all. How they would do this? Skills, fine. Memories, sure. Medical conditions, you lost me
I'm pretty sure Topher talks later about how it doesn't have to be a real medical condition, you just make the brain think it has one. Which to me seems fairly simple compared to everything else they do.
 

Athena

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I'm pretty sure Topher talks later about how it doesn't have to be a real medical condition, you just make the brain think it has one. Which to me seems fairly simple compared to everything else they do.
Like the opposite of a placebo, you mean? You think you're sick, therefore you are sick? Some form of hypochondria? I guess that could work.....

Also, if they've been implanted with a personality, why do they automatically agree to 'treatment' and go back to the facility at any random point? Is it something pre-programmed? Like they have a certain amount of time as that personality before they 'expire'?
 

Monkey Pants

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Also, if they've been implanted with a personality, why do they automatically agree to 'treatment' and go back to the facility at any random point? Is it something pre-programmed? Like they have a certain amount of time as that personality before they 'expire'?
I think they use an exercise to ingrain certain words and phrases to be triggers into their brains. It'll be touched on more in the next episode.
 

Ethan Reigns

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I have met a person with multiple personality disorder / dissociative identity disorder and one personality wore glasses and the other didn't need them. The body has far more susceptibility to suggestion than you might think. A good hypnotist can convince you you have been burned, to the extent that you get blisters. Asthma would be simple.
 
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